I was glad to be awake early. The room was bathed in bright sunlight and shadows broke through slatted blinds to project dark shapes across the cool white walls. The morning warmth enveloped me as the fan turned slowly barely moving the humid air. The rhythmic lapping of gentle waves over coral sharp sand enticed me to slumber. I watched a busy spider move across the rough ceiling in and out of paint furrows. The pillow felt clammy and the sheets had been kicked into a ball at the end of the bed. I sat up, swung my legs off, stood and stretched, my hands grasping imaginary ropes in the air. After that dream it was good to know that my world, perhaps a normal one still existed and now I was allowed to start again.

The verandah was sun bleached, the boards worn and uneven and tilting my chair back with my bare feet resting against the fence, I closed my eyes and tried to forget what had driven me here; the dream that just would not go away.

It was always the same. A chase into an underground station, jumping over turnstiles and tripping over commuters as I rudely pushed through to get to a platform that never seemed to be the one I needed. But I could see it in the distance, hear the scream of iron wheels on carriages that scraped at speed on bent rails showering sparks onto the soot caked walls. The train stopped and there was one space left, seemingly reserved for me. I struggled over the gap with a fat suitcase and swam into a curtain of hot breath, bruised myself on sharp elbows and held on tight as the we sped away in an almost vertical direction, people tumbling against each other, ghoulish faces pressing to the windows, teeth biting through lips and blood flecked into the air.

My view of the ocean was clean and fresh. It had a deep blue sheen, with diamonds sparkling on the surface. This view always cleared my mind of the nightly horror. Unhurried tourists emerged from chalets, holding hands, blinking in the sun and laughing as children jumped like small frogs in the sand. The day would pass slowly and palm trees like sundials would record time and call us to eat and drink. The routine drifted in waves and as the orange glow of the sun in the evening broke across the horizon I was the only one wishing not to sleep.

But tomorrow I might be less troubled in another world.

One thought on “The dream

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